Boris Johnson 'must honour school funding pledge' as PM

Headteachers urge the next prime minister to expand on his pledge of £4.6bn extra funding for schools by 2022-23

Martin George

New Tory leader Boris Johnson pledged an extra £4.6bn for schools during his leadership campaign

Headteachers have called for Boris Johnson to honour his pledge for a multi-billion-pound boost for schools following his election as Conservative Party leader.

The party today announced that Mr Johnson had beaten Jeremy Hunt in the battle to succeed Theresa May.

The former foreign secretary and ex-mayor of London is expected to be formally appointed prime minister tomorrow afternoon.

During the leadership election campaign, Mr Johnson promised an extra £4.6 billion for schools by 2022-23.

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His team said this amount would keep pace with rising pupil numbers, and return per-pupil funding for schools to 2015 levels.

Following the result of the leadership election, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, called for Mr Johnson to honour his school funding pledge.

He said: “Congratulations to Mr Johnson on his success in the Conservative Party leadership contest. We wish him well as our next prime minister.

Education 'facing a crisis'

“We hope he will immediately make good on his promise during the leadership campaign to reverse the education cuts. To achieve this objective he needs to invest an additional £12.6 billion by 2022-23, rather than the £4.6 billion he has pledged.

“Nevertheless, his commitment is a step in the right direction after years of government denial over the scale of the crisis facing the education system.

“As a matter of urgency, he must provide government funding for the total cost of the pay award for teachers which was announced yesterday, so that schools are able to implement the increase without making further cuts. 

“The government’s expectation that schools should fund the first 2 per cent of the 2.75 per cent award from budgets which have already been cut to the bone is unrealistic and damaging.

“In the longer term, Mr Johnson must help to shape a brighter and more optimistic vision for education by improving support for struggling schools, easing the grinding pressure of exams and accountability, and boosting teacher recruitment and retention.

“Schools and colleges do a fantastic job despite very challenging circumstances, but they need more resources and vision from the government.”

Ms May had reportedly wanted to boost school funding by up to £27 billion over three years before she left Downing Street as part of the legacy.

However, her spokesperson yesterday acknowledged that this would not happen.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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